A selection of important medieval and Byzantine paintings, sculpture, and functional objects is now on view in the Mimi Gates Study Gallery, on the first floor of the Old Yale Art Gallery building.
The new display features artworks in all media ranging in date from the end of the first millennium to the late 16th century, most of which have not been exhibited for 30 years or more. Byzantine-period highlights include a spectacular silver processional cross with gold ornament and niello inlay, possibly from as early as the 10th century, and two icons from the 15th and 16th centuries—one a disassembled, five-panel folding tabernacle—that have only recently been recognized for their authorship and significance.
Also on view is Tino di Camaino’s Three Princesses relief, which is among the Gallery’s masterpieces of medieval sculpture, and incorporates Cosmatesque glass inlay in its background; it is juxtaposed with a recently acquired large marble Cosmatesque panel from Rome. Four newly conserved, large-scale, wooden figural sculptures from Flanders, France, and Spain join better-known carvings in marble, limestone, and alabaster, as well as small functional objects in a variety of media. Illuminated manuscripts include a full page from a distinguished, early 14th-century Bolognese antiphonary and one of the museum’s earliest cutout initials, a rare surviving example of 12th-century painting.